A MUM-TO-BE claims her newborn baby nearly lost her life after medical staff sent her home when her waters broke, telling her she had wet herself.
Tina Williams says she ended up with an infection and her baby, Annie-Marie, was critical in intensive care.
The 24-year-old mum-of-three said she went to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, and ‘pleaded for help’ but was told to go home.
Tina said: ‘They actually made me feel insane.
‘I was mentally breaking down, because no one was believing my waters had broken.’
She said she had been at home when she felt her waters break, and hurried to hospital where staff carried out a test but it came back negative.
Tina explained: ‘They said, “We’re going to have to send you home”. They said I must have wet myself.
‘That was my third child. I knew my waters had broken.’
Concerned, but ‘not wanting to cause a scene’, she returned home.
After a sleepless night, she went back to the QEQM, but says she was again told to go home.
She went on: ‘I was in such a state, I came home and couldn’t physically talk. I was shaking, I was so, so worried about my child.
‘I tried calling the hospital and they just said, “There is nothing we can do for you”.’
Ms Williams rang her midwife who called her in to the Kent & Canterbury Hospital.
She added: ‘The second I walked in she said, “Tina, you need to be in hospital. I can smell your waters have broken. I don’t even need to test you to know”.’
She was taken by ambulance to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, where her labour was induced the next morning.
Doctors used forceps to help deliver her baby in theatre.
More than two days after she believes her waters broke, Ms Williams gave birth to Annie-Marie. But she quickly realised something was very wrong.
She said: ‘They put her on my chest and my child was blue, and wasn’t breathing.’
Both mother and child had developed infections, Tina says, she was given antibiotics and discharged, but her newborn spent nearly two weeks in hospital.
She added: ‘My daughter was fighting for her life. She had tubes in her nose, a breathing machine. They were pumping morphine into her. It was absolutely awful.’
Annie-Marie has since made a full recovery.
Tina plans to file a formal complaint against the QEQM, which is subject to an independent review into baby deaths and alleged maternity failings at East Kent Hospitals.
She said: ‘I am worried about other people’s children and pregnancies.
‘I was pleading with Margate hospital to help me. I want for them to listen to ladies when they’re telling them that their body doesn’t feel right.
‘My babies are my world, but me and my kid could not be here today. My daughter could have died.’
East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the QEQM, said: ‘We are very sorry Ms Williams did not feel listened to when she contacted our maternity day care service.
‘Now Ms Williams’ concerns have been brought to our attention, we have invited her to a meeting to discuss her care and answer any questions she has.’
East Kent Hospitals maintains Annie-Marie’s infection was not caused by the length of time between the water breaking and her birth, as antibiotics given to Tina while she was in labour would have prevented this.